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Composed of 3 clubs in Madagascar and 6 clubs in Reunion Island, D 920 was honoured to invite IIW President Christine Kirby to their XXVIth Conference which took place from 16th to 18th at Salle Kerveguen, in Saint-Pierre, Capital of the South of Reunion Island.
Because of cancellation of one of her connecting flights to Reunion Island, IIW President arrived on May 17th 4 pm, with a delay of 24 hours, on the second day of the Conference; we were so grateful that she maintained her visit even if only for 2 days, as we know how she might be tired with jet lag and still anxious because of changes of her flights schedule.
Thursday, May 16th :
The Opening Ceremony started at 19:30 with a parade of each club of the District, followed by presentation of flags and national anthems : Australia, Madagascar, France (as Reunion Island is an overseas region of France), and International Inner Wheel. A touching part of this Ceremony was the live interpretation of our IIW song Standing together- Inner Wheel by Elodie, accompanied by a guitarist.
After inspiring speeches from the Mayor of Saint-Pierre’s representative and Chairman Monique, and in the absence of IIW President, Board Director Gabriele Schruempf and IIW Past President Charlotte De Vos declared the XXVIth Conference of District 920 officially opened at the end of the ceremony.
Friday, May 17th :
1 Business session: financial reports, vote of proposals and amendments to District Rules and Regulations, and multimedia presentation of the 9 clubs’ activities. This pleasant kaleidoscope of dynamic reports highlighted a large number of inspiring social projects empowering and evolving our communities.
The business session ended with an interactive overview of D 920’s activities, underlining the major project of the year, a Memorial Zen Garden for organ donors: a few months ago, the medical staff of organs transplant made us a proposal consisting in the arrangement of a Remembrance Garden for organ donors ‘s families and organ receivers within the hospital. As the project was huge to finance, we greatly welcomed support from 2 major private benefactors and 2 Rotary clubs.
2 Inauguration of the Memorial Garden at Hospital CHU Sud with media coverage, in the presence of donors’ families, organ receivers, benefactors, medical staff, Inner Wheel members.
The emotion was palpable when donors’ families unveiled the stele:
"In memory of organ donors, in recognition to their families and to the chance for a new life".
3 In the evening, all members of D 920 welcomed our IIW President who went to meet each of them in spite of tiredness as she just arrived after a long trip; members appreciated her open-mindedness and kindness, her availability to be photographed with each club.
And now, the show must go on: all the clubs of D920 participated in a Talents show, featuring colourful artistic and cultural folkloric aspects of Reunion Island and Madagascar. Club members rehearsed their dances, songs… for months, in a spirit of teamwork and enthusiasm.
We should highlight the IWC Saint-Denis Reunion’s performance whose members have created amazing dresses and accessories from recycled items, and offered us an amazing Fashion Show worthy of interest for protection of Mother Earth .
IIW President was offered the scarf designed by one member of D920 (see header picture).
Saturday, May 18th :
1 Keynote speakers:
-Mr Jobart, President of ASETIS, organization supporting people suffering from serious illness (AIDS, Hepatitis C, Parkinson, Cancer), offering social and psychological assistance on a daily basis, therapeutic accommodations, as well as a Home where patients are offered warmth, lunch… attend various workshops as well as physical and cultural activities...
-Dr Genevey, from the medical coordination team of organ transplantation Hospital CHU Sud Reunion Island.
2 The results of D920 Committee elections were announced and the incoming Executive Committee presented.
3 The Gala evening became a festival of continuity in Inner Wheel Friendship .
In her speech, IIW President Christine Kirby delivered a great message underlining the importance of each member in Inner Wheel, the necessity of extension, and the duty for all members of our great organization to do 3 things: look for new members, learn about our organization and listen to our fellow members - so that we Empower and Evolve.
During the evening, she presented District 920’s collar to incoming Chairman Gloria, from IWC Mahajanga, Madagascar .
Wonderful memories of inspiring words and an evening of true friendship to be remembered for long.
Jasmine Sery - Conference Chairman